In architecture, a gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque, usually made of granite, with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between. A mascaron is an ornament, usually a human face, sometimes frightening or chimeric whose function was originally to frighten away evil spirits so that they would not enter the building.
There are plenty of mascarons and gargoyles in Nantes, especially around old neighborhoods like Bouffay, Quai de la Fosse, the Château des Ducs, etc. These little design elements are often overlooked or forgotten by locals because they are part of the landscape but as a tourist in my former hometown, they catch my eyes again!
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